Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Composting - Desire vs. Action

I don't know about you, but we throw away a lot of biodegrable food waste every day. Banana peels, leftovers-turned-science-experiments, mushy uneaten cereal, coffee grinds, and several hundred apple and pear cores. Every time I toss out yet another mostly eaten banana covered in hair because my little one wandered off with it and dropped it in the bathroom, I think, "We should not be throwing this into the garbage!!" I just don't know what else to do with it.

Ok, that's a total lie. I do know what to do with it: I need to compost it. Of all the earth-friendly steps I should take to reduce my role in trashing the planet, composting is probably the one I am most reluctant about. First of all, I don't garden, I don't even have house plants, and so anything soil-related is completely foreign to me. Secondly, I'm not much of a nature person. Worms aren't really my thing. And third....well, I just kinda don't want to.

But becoming a steward of the earth isn't really about what you want to do, is it? If I throw up my hands that are likely carrying orange peels, egg shells, or frostbitten peas and say "It's just too inconvenient," I'm not really all that committed, am I? I've been telling myself I'll just wait until my daughter starts going to her hippie kindergarten and she can teach us all how to compost. And then I think, um, she'll have just turned five. Is it really her responsibility to learn this stuff before I do?

So today I began researching the process of composting, and I'll admit, while I had hoped it would dispell my belief that turning food into nutrient-rich worm poop is overwhelmingly complicated, it has actually increased my skepticism that I'm cut out for this. First of all, this

is really gross. I know there are other ways to compost, but they seem even more complicated, requiring me to balance nitrogen with carbon and what not. Again, nature and soil things, not really in my skill set.

Nevertheless, I will soldier on in my quest to compost. I'm going to a Living Green expo later this spring, and I may just put it off until then, when someone can hold my hand and walk me through the process. In the meantime, if you'd like to read up on composting to see if maybe it strikes you as more doable and enjoyable than it looks to me, here's a good place to start:


No comments: